Hidden Maintenance Costs

“This year’s work list at Planetary Management: Redirect an estimated dozen hurricanes. Lance a supervolcano. Perform injection lubrication of five fault lines for controlled tectonic stress release. Reinforce the bedrock of a major regional aquifer. And orchestrate a thousand-year river channel shift.”

“Why are you even reading that?”

“Reminding my mother-in-law that while space may be trying to kill us all the time, at least it doesn’t do so by surprise.”

– overheard on Sulavé Station, Istelrith (High Verge)

(Because when talking about the maintenance needed to prevent your space colony from killing people in droves, no-one talks about that needed to stop your planet from doing the same. Status quo bias much.

Speaking of maintenance, incidentally, my 3D printer still needs some, by which I mean replacement. Help a broke author out?)

Boom Tomorrow?

HÍÄSTRE, INTAIS (LEY NEBULA) – The small letal colony in the Chiaras (Beratnas Cluster) system broadcast an appeal today for aid, after local astronomers confirmed that the orbit of the comet IGS 31278493 would intersect with the orbit of Chiaras in three months time. While impact cannot be confirmed due to the increasing outgassing of the comet as it approaches perihelion, neither can it be ruled out. No assistance can be expected from the greater Inial Consulate, with which the Chiaras colony had severed formal ties, and no response has yet been made by any of the regional powers.

While no statement has been issued, public eyes report that the Imperial Rimward Fleet’s Task Group 149, currently on patrol in the Stritta (Vertyl Gyre) system, altered course at approximately the same time as the broadcast could have reached them, light-lag permitting, although their intentions remain unknown at this time.

(Amendment: the Accord Journal has, however, received a joint statement of protest from the Seventeen World Empire and the Vile-Born Imperium concerning the Empire of the Star’s monopoly on the adjective Imperial in this story and such publications as ours. We thank them for their attention to the most important details, although our editorial policy remains unchanged.)

In Time of Emergency, The Rules Suspend The Rules

Under section 31(c) of the Imperial Emergency Management Act (Revised), 4111, in fulfillment of the Charter mandate to promote the common and mutual defense of civilization from cataclysms of nature, and exercising by herein-authorized proxy the Responsibility of Eminent Domain;

When a Class II or higher emergency has been declared by the Imperial Emergency Management Authority, or when an emergency is in progress and the Emergency Communications System is off-line;

And in the absence of duly Mandate-authorized authority, including all officers of the Ministry of Harmonic Observance;

In such situations as it shall be necessary to prevent further harm to life or property, or to perform essential works of infrastructure reconstruction, citizen-shareholders shall be authorized to enter unattended commercial (retail or storage) property, containing construction materials or repair supplies, within the zone of the Emergency in an orderly manner, and appropriate therefrom such goods as are necessary for the prevention of harm or performance of essential works, as stated.  Such appropriations shall be recorded at the site from which they were made, and the owners of said property may claim due recompense at the market price for such appropriations from the Imperial Emergency Management Authority.

Citizen-shareholders are reminded that the appropriation of any goods not required to prevent harm to life or property or to perform essential works of infrastructure reconstruction, to fail to properly record all such appropriations, or to cause any unnecessary property damage, or to leave property vulnerable to further damage, in the course of such appropriation is forbidden under section 31(c) of the aforementioned Act, and shall constitute the crime of looting.  In times of Class II or higher emergency, looters are considered enemies of the public safety, and are to be shot on sight; citizen-shareholders are further reminded that the law enforcement duty is the responsibility of every citizen-shareholder, especially in emergency situations.

It should also be noted that the privilege of appropriation conferred by section 31(c) is intended to cover emergencies of unusual duration, and that the responsible citizen-shareholder should not consider it a substitute for individual crisis readiness, as delineated on pp. 432-440.  Remember, a prepared Empire is a safe Empire!

– Codex of Civic Services and Citizen Responsibilities, 117th edition